Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
The bill would have required insurers to spell out the use of aftermarket parts in insurance policies written on vehicles three-years-old or less, but it did not make it off the CA Senate floor last week. The bill was approved to be heard before the Senate adjourned at the end of this month---however, it was not brought up again, killing it for this legislative session.
A class action lawsuit (Case #CV08-03184), was filed today in United States Federal Court, Central District, alleging that State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is enriching itself with payments rightfully belonging to its insureds in violation of California law, particularly the "Make Whole Rule."
Assembly Bill 594, revolutionary new legislation in Nevada, has quietly been enacted and implemented. The bill creates a Class A certification designation for body shops that meet certain criteria.
Seven individuals have been arrested for their alleged involvement in automobile arson and insurance fraud. The arrests are the result of two automobile “give-up” investigations.
The Economic Employment Enforcement Coalition (EEEC) investigators issued 41 citations for labor violations – with fines totaling more than $226,000 – in a recent sweep of 28 San Diego auto body businesses, according to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
Senate Bill 1371, carried by Senator Lou Correa and sponsored by the California Autobody Association (CAA), was unanimously (11-0) supported by the members of the Senate committee on Banking, Finance, and Insurance on April 16. There is currently no opposition to this bill.
Despite howls of protest from lobbyists representing insurers and aftermarket companies, the California Senate Judiciary Committee not only approved the CRA-sponsored SB 1059, it also added new muscle to the bill. By a 3-2 vote the committee agreed to add the following provision to the bill: “At the time of sale, the insurer shall specifically notify the insured whether the insurance contract allows for the use of aftermarket parts, and that such use may affect the insured's vehicle manufacturer's warranty. The required use of aftermarket parts must also be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in bold type in the front declaration page of the policy."
On May 29, AB 2825 (Carter) Automotive Repair: Crash Parts. AB 2825 was voted 73-0 Ayes on its third reading in the Assembly. It would require that upon completion of auto body repairs the automotive repair dealer must provide the customer with a written certification that the crash parts identified on the written estimate were installed on the customer's motor vehicle. The bill would also require that invoices for auto body repair work specify if any used, rebuilt, remanufactured, or reconditioned parts are supplied.
“Shops should be calling on their legislators either in Sacramento or their districts to keep them updated on the collision industry,” states CAA Past President Dave Mello.
State Senator Migden: “SB 1059 removes the Catch-22 that some insurers put claimants and repairers in when insurers insist that aftermarket parts be used in repairs even though doing this can void their clients’ vehicle warranties.”
The CRA today called on repairers in California to rally around SB 1167 which it called “truth-setting policy” that protects consumers from insurer CRP steering tactics. The bill, authored by State Senator Pat Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) and sponsored by the CRA, states that when a claimant first reports an accident, the insurer would be required to ask if the claimant had selected a repairer. The bill then ties into current law that directs insurers not to recommend or suggest alternative repair choices when the claimant has selected a repairer. The bill is tentatively set for hearing on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 in the Senate Committee on Banking, Finance and Insurance.